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Terrell Burgess 'grateful' to lead special teams players in Pro Bowl votes

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There are a handful of Washington Commanders players who have a shot at making the 2024 Pro Bowl Games, from Sam Howell to **Jonathan Allen** and **Kamren Curl.**

However, the player with the best odds at this point in the voting process is one that wasn't even on the Commanders' active roster until two months ago.

For the past two weeks, the NFL has provided weekly updates on which players are leading their respective positions for the Pro Bowl, and for the past two weeks, Commanders defensive back Terrell Burgess has led all special teams players in fan votes. Burgess, a third-year player out of Utah, didn't get an opportunity to contribute until injuries created a spot on the roster, but now that he's part of the 53, he's been able to show his value.

"I think it's pretty cool," Burgess said of leading special teams players in Pro Bowl votes. "Obviously, I'm just gonna try and keep playing well, and hopefully it stays that way."

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Burgess first joined the Commanders back in May, when the release of Cameron Dantzler Jr. and Andrew Norwell being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list created two roster spots for Washington to fill. Burgess was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the third-round of the 2020 draft, but he only played in seven games after being placed on Injured Reserve with an ankle injury.

Burgess spent another full season with the Rams before being waived in November of the 2022 season. He signed with the New York Giants and was elevated from their practice squad for one game, but he did not record any stats.

Burgess was waived by the Commanders at the end of training camp but re-signed with them as a member of the practice squad. That was how Burgess spent his time until Jeremy Reaves and Darrick Forrest were placed on IR. Burgess was signed to the active roster on Oct. 10 and made his season debut against the Atlanta Falcons, recording two tackles in the 24-16 victory.

"I just did my best to try and fill the shoes that were there before me," Burgess said. "With Reavo and DFoe going down, it was definitely big shoes to fill. So, just being able to get right in those shoes and just play to the best of my abilities."


Burgess has done well filling Reaves and Forrest's roles with five of his seven tackles coming on special teams. Burgess has a mindset of refusing to be blocked, which he says is an important factor when playing on the punt coverage unit.

"When it comes to special teams, you just gotta be willing to do it," Burgess said. "You're gonna make a tackle or you're gonna make this block or you're gonna do this, you're gonna do that."

That kind of effort gets notices by coaches, and it can lead to players crafting career out of playing on special teams. Burgess mentioned Matthew Slater, who has been voted to 10 Pro Bowls as a special teams player, recording 188 tackles over the course of his 16-year career.

Burgess has also benefitted from speaking with Reaves, who made his first Pro Bowl last season and was voted as a First Team All-Pro as a special teams contributor.

"Since I've been here, I definitely learned a lot from him, especially when it comes to special teams," Burgess said. "He's one of those guys that...just has energy and you gravitate towards him and the way he approaches special teams. So, I think just being able to learn from him before I was from the active and watching him play and since he went down, like being able to do what I can to emulate him and the way he plays and just be able to play the best of my ability."

Burgess said he was surprised when Nick Whiteside II told him that he was leading special teams players in Pro Bowl votes, especially after only being on the active roster for about two months, but at the same time, he knows it's the result of hard work paying off.

"We all come in here to play to the best of our abilities," Burgess said. "So, if somebody's taking notice of that, I'm definitely grateful about it. Hopefully I can just keep getting a few more tackles."

You can vote for Burgess to make his first career Pro Bowl **HERE.**

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